Within A Book, Gems To Discover
As I’ve mentioned before, I love reading. It entertains me, relaxes me, makes me knowledgeable and helps me to live a better life. Within each book, even the mysteries I love so much, there are gems of wisdom to discover. A few books though are truly spectacular, including Nina Sankovitch’s memoir, “Tolstoy and The Purple Chair“.
After the death of her older sister, Nina found it difficult to get beyond grieving. In an effort to move past grieving and stop running to do anything and everything, Nina set a goal of reading a book a day and posting a review on a blog. She wanted to use books, “to escape back to life” adn “answer the relentless question of why I deserved to live”.
This memoir though is more than about grieving, more than about reading. It’s about wisdom of living life and enjoying the moment. It’s about memories of her sister, her father’s devastating childhood during World War II, and family stories about her sisters and children. Most importantly, it’s about celebrating the life we each have to live.
Nina read mostly fiction, but from many of the books she gleamed gems of wisdom to use in her life. She shares with us quotes, character descriptions, and scenes that helped her figure out how to get her life back and strengthen her relationship with those around her. She even explores why she loves books so much.
I highlighted a number of things in the book that I wanted to be able to find again quickly. One favorite quote nicely summed up her year of reading:
And now I understood why it was important to read these books. Because being witness to all types of human experience is important to understanding the world, but also to understand myself. To define what is important to me, and who is important, and why. . .
. . . now I understood that all the bad and sad stuff that happens to me, and that happened to the people I was reading about, is both the cost and the proof of resilience.
Nina’s book is well written. While she touches on many deep topics, it does not bog down. She tells her stories clearly and concisely, and moves easily through the insights she shares with her readers.
On another note, my sister sent me a snapshot of a tree near her house. It is covered with the most beautiful red and orange leaves. Colors are approaching peak near her and it is gorgeous. Within my own yard though, it’s still green. YES! I used today’s word in not one, but TWO different topics.
Notice how the garden is pretty much down?
Word for tomorrow – PLUS. If you prefer to work ahead, see the list for the week under “A Word A Day”.
Books Garden Nature books Game Of Life garden grief grieving nature Nina Sankovitch reading Tolstoy
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I am a backyard adventurer, philosopher and observer, recording my life in journals and photographs. Visit my blog at www.livingtheseasons.com.
I favor biographies, and extract the same thing from them as Nina did from her reading. In learning about others’ lives…I discover my own. Relationships are clarified…pain lessened…questions answered, realizing that I either have so much in common…or not.
nice to know another writer feels similarly… :)
Memoirs really do clarify my thoughts. That’s part of why I follow different blogs too – it helps me discover more about myself.
Your sharing of Nina’s quotes has provided me the catalyst to begin my new project. I have mulled it over for several days now and it needs to be written…
“…all the bad and sad stuff that happens to me, and that happened to the people I [knew] , is both the cost and the proof of resilience.”
I find these words profound, and know I must begin, even if no one else will ever read them or care, the memories want out.
Thanks for sharing today. ~ Lynda
Lynda – you’re welcome. Do you ever read Christine Grote’s blog? She just published a book she wrote about her disabled sister. You might like some of her posts over there. http://randomthoughtsfrommidlife.wordpress.com/
Thanks! I have been reading about her process of publishing and working myself backwards in time. Her sister was blessed to have Christine to care for her. So lovely. :)
You’re welcome. Christine has become a really good friend through our blogs.
We had our first real hard frost this week so I understand the garden winding down. I love the visual of your garden layout & plant support structures.
She has a beautiful garden set up doesn’t she! :)
Actually, that’s my garden in the picture. It works well for our small yard, except for the lethal heat and excessively rainy days :(
The days here are so short that I don’t see how I could do a fall or winter garden. I’m glad for it to be done though.
Thanks for the compliment!
I don’t know where you live, but you could put up a hoop house over one or all of your raised beds. I did it last year and raised lettuces and oriental veg past Christmas! It was such a treat to be able to go out when it was freezing and still have a fresh salad when I wanted it! (There are many other items you can grow too)HH are very easy to set up. We pounded in some two foot rebar stakes, bent 1/2 in pvc to slip over the stakes and then covered the hoops with heavy plastic. To keep it all sealed we place rocks/bricks at the base of the overlapped ends. If it is just you and your hubby, then one or even half of a raised bed would be enough. Just a thought. ~ Lynda
(BTW, in winter it was a kick to see them. They looked like little covered wagons in the snow.)
I actually have Eliot Coleman’s book on Four Season Gardening. Lack of warmth is a problem, even in central Virginia, but I think the lack of daylight is a bigger problem. In the summer, the garden burns out, but this time of the year it barely gets any sun due to the angle. I’ll have to look through his book again. You have a good suggestion here. Thanks for writing it out for me!